Guidance and Discipline Terms


  1. REDIRECTION:  Redirecting the child’s attention to a different toy or activity that is more acceptable.
  2. REASONING:  Explaining to the children the consequences of their actions on other people and the purposes for obeying rules.
  3. TIME OUT:  Children are removed from the situation and told to think about their actions.
  4. SETTING RULES/LIMITS:  Rules should be explain to the children and strictly enforced.  They should be simple and few.
  5. MODELING:  It is vital that adults model the type of behavior that they desire in the children.  This teaches children how to deal with conflicts, cooperate, etc.
  6. LISTENING:  Be aware of what children are thinking and feeling.  It is important to check things out before attempting to resolve problems and help children work through their difficulties.
  7. REINFORCEMENT:  Encourage behavior through praise or attention.  When you comment on positive actions, children increase any behavior they get attention for (positive or negative).
  8. OFFERING CHOICES:  Children like to have some control over what happens to them.  Offer children good cho8ices that are appropriate and then accept their decisions.
  9. ACCEPTABLE OUTLETS FOR EXPRESSING FEELINGS:  Children need to express strong feelings but help them find safe ways to do this.
  10. AVOID OVER STIMULATION:  Too many choices and options overwhelm the children.  Allow them an appropriate number of choices.
  11. POSITIVE GUIDANCE:  Guidance methods, which build children’s self esteem, and confidence in themselves.  Directions and rules are stated in a positive way such as, “Please walk”, instead of “No running”.
  12. NATURAL & LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES:  Actions result in consequences whether negative or positive.  If the consequence is not too severe, let natural consequences happen.  If not, create a consequence (Logical) that is appropriate for the behavior.
  13. AGE APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES:  Activities and equipment that are relevant and safe for the age of the child promote growth and development.
  14. AVOID UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS:  It is important that the teacher understand the skills and abilities of the children.


For each of the following examples, suggest an appropriate technique for resolving the problem.  There may be more than one correct solution.
  1. Maria, age two, wants the toy truck that Mark, age 2, is playing with.  Maria grabs the truck and a struggle ensues.

(1)  Duplicates of popular items should be available, but if none are available, redirection may be used.

  1. Joshua, age 5, is breaking crayons and throwing them at the other children.

(12)  Speak to Joshua and remind him of the rules.  If behavior persists, use natural and logical consequences (can’t continue to play with crayons)

  1. Tania, age 3, is biting the other children.

(4 & 3)  Listen to find out what happened.  Review the rules.  Provide time out if needed.

  1. Jacob, age 6, continues to karate kick the playhouse, even though he has been reminded several times about the center rules.

(12, 3, & 9)  Consequences could be used.  Time out could be used.  Maybe children have been expected to do quiet activities for too long.

  1. Amy, age 9 months, continues crawling to the box of marbles and playing with them, even though she has been moved several times.

(13)  Equipment is not age appropriate and should be removed; they are not safe for babies.  It is unrealistic to expect a baby not to explore the world.

  1. Dion, age 5 and new at the center, just sits in the corner and refuses to play with other children.

(6 & 11)  Find out what Dion is feeling.  He may need encouragement and support from an adult in order to help with the stress of this new situation.

  1. Di
  2. llan, age 2, refuses to help with clean up.

(14)  Children at this age can start to learn to clean up but they assistance.

  1. Kayla, age 5, refuses to help with clean up.

(8, 11, 4, 12, 5)  She could be offered a choice of which area to clean up.  Encouragement and positive guidance are helpful.  Natural and logical consequences could be used.  Remind her of the rules.  Modeling should always be used.

  1. Ryan, age 3, refuses to sit still at story time.

(13 & 7)  Is the story age appropriate?  Reinforce appropriate behavior of children who are listening.  Alternate high energy and quiet activities.

  1. Marissa, age 3, refuses to participate in group activities and stays in the playhouse.

(6 & 7)  Listen and talk to her to determine the underlying problems.  Reinforce any interest she shows in participating with others.  Encourage.

  1. Carlos, age 4, refuses to try finger painting.

(7 & 11)  Reinforce any interest and show him how – guidance.

12.  Celeste, age 5, runs down the hall, away from the teachers.

(4 & 3)  Remind her of the rules.  Encourage cooperation.  May need to use time out.

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